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Laurie McKenna


Born: July 7, 1963

In 2002, Laurie McKenna moved from Cambridge, Massachusetts to Bisbee, Arizona. Laurie is a cross-disciplinary artist. Class,, labor and abuse of power have been central themes in her work. 

Laurie has a BFA in filmmaking from Mass College of Art.  In addition to her studio practice, she is the Executive Director of the nonprofit arts cooperative Central School Project in Bisbee, Arizona.


1998  BFA in Filmmaking, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, Massachusetts

1985 -1987 Studio for Interrelated Media, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, Massachusetts

1981-1983  Theatre/Philosophy, Hampshire College, Hadley, Massachusetts


2016 - present - Member of  Freeport McMoRan Community Partnership Panel 

2016 -2021 Board member Bisbee Arts and Humanities Council

2016 - 2021 Liason to Arts and Culture District Steering Committee


2020  Luther Price  memorial essay  Millenium Film Journal Nos 71 72  : Crisis 

2017 Feature article and cover of Industrial Worker- the Industrial Workers of The World magazine

2017 The Cochise County Historical Journal - Rosa McKay article and artwork

2011 Ampersand Journal, Bisbee, AZ   

2002 Regent Press-  poetry  anthology : An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind


1986 Visiting Artist: performance art & film at Atelier Kramer, Universität Kunst Kassel, Germany


2019 April - December The Undesirables Arizona Historical Society Museum - Resilience Exhibition, Tucson, Az

2019 Feb- March - The Undesirables  Tohono Chul Park Gallery , Tucson, Az

2018  August - The Undesirables  Cornelius Projects, San Pedro CA

2017  July - The Undesirables Central School Project, Bisbee, AZ

2013  Rock Paper Fence - pop up gallery show Migrant Center, Agua Prieta, MX

2012  Rock  Paper Fence, Spirit Gallery, Bisbee, Arizona

2006  Know Your America 2, Bisbee Clay Gallery, Bisbee, Arizona

2008  Memory of Water  Series of Porcelain Tiles, Bisbee Clay Gallery

FILM COLLABORATION - subject/performance

(X)trACTION media collective project: work by 5 artist screening program, premiered Jan 2022 
Bisbee '17  Directed by Robert Greene  -2017

The Undesirables Project documented and featured within the  documentary narrative about the Bisbee Deportation. Participated as a re-enactor.

Dec 2015 - present  Executive Director Central School Project Artists Coop and Arts Center
2003-2015  Studio member Central School Project Artist Coop and Arts Center Bisbee, AZ
2012-2015  President of Central School Project and Arts Center Bisbee, AZ
2003- 2010  Represented by Bisbee Clay Gallery Bisbee AZ


2022 Awardee The PandemiDiarios on the Border micro-grant program, facilitated by the Confluence Center for Creative Inquiry at the University of Arizona, supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Aggregate video is officially accepted into the U of A archive, supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

2021 Project Creosote stART grant for - Arts Foundation of Tucson and Southern Arizona  2021 

2021 Bisbee Arts Commission

2019 Bisbee Arts Commission

2018 Arizona Commission on the Arts- Artist Research and Development grant for video and performance work on The Undesirables.

2017 Bisbee Arts Commission- video film grant for Undesirables 

1998 School Association Trust Fund Award


(X)trACTION Aggregate  Harun Farocki Institut Berlin Germany July 29, 2022

(X)trACTION Aggregate  Cornell Cinema Cornell NY March 7, 2022

(X)trACTION Aggregate Central School Project, Bisbee AZ January 7 2022

Beast - Showcase Fatale Show - video - Can't Swim Can't Fly recut  Central School Project Bisbee AZ Nov 2017

Women of Light and Shadow Show - video - Steel toed Boots recut Central School Project Bisbee AZ  Oct 2016 

16th Annual Mix Fest  Steel Toed Boots  Anthology Film Archives Boston, MA Jan 2001 
Twilight World: Super-8 Psychotica & Erotica (of the female kind)

No Festival Required  Part 1 Phoenix Art  Museum  2002

Modified Arts  407 E. Roosevelt Phoenix, AZ 85004  July 28th, 2002

Robert Beck Memorial Cinema  Collective Unconscious 145 Ludlow, NYC, NY  Feb 12th, 2002

Cinematheque  Brighton, UK  Oct 25th, 2001

Telluride Experimental Cinema Exposition  Telluride, CO  Oct 2001

Mini-Cine  Shreveport, Louisiana   March 31st, 2001

Experiments in Motion Bisbee, AZ  October 29, 2000

Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archives  Berkeley, CA  August 22, 2000

Mass College of Art Film Society  Boston, Ma  November 1999

Robert Beck Memorial Cinema NY, NY July 3, 1999

Jim Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater PS 122 NY, NY  September 18, 1998

Jacques  Boston, MA  December 1998

Coolidge Corner Theatre  Boston, Ma May 1998

Mobius Gallery  Boston, MA  1998

White Elephant Gallery   Boston, MA 1997

Jacques   Boston, MA  December 1997

Eventworks  Festival Mass College of Art - SCAMP -  Boston, Ma  May 1997

Faces with Eyes -The Middle East  Central Sq , Cambridge Cambridge MA  October 1996



Programming Lead at Central School Project 2015 - present

Solid State Film and Video Show 1997 Coolidge Corner Theater Brookline Mass

Eventworks 10 Boston MA 1987 -  Co-Producer and Curator of 5 week  (18 events) Media Arts Festival

Artists: Jack Smith - performance and film screenings, Carolee Schneeman; performance, screening and workshop,  Linda Montano: performance and workshop,Larry Wildman Fischer, Howard Zinn, Barbara Krueger- SIM Info Symposium

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